Second Fired Executive Files Suit Against The Arena Group

Andrew Kraft, former president and chief operating officer of The Arena Group, has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was improperly discharged by the company and is owed $2 million. 

This is the second lawsuit filed by a fired Arena Group executive against the company and its majority owner Manoj Bhargava. Former CEO Ross Levinsohn charged in a March complaint that he was let go from his post last December without being told why he was being fired. His case says he is owed more than $40 million. 

The digital media holding company declined to comment on the Kraft suit, according to Bloomberg, which broke the story.  

The Arena Group laid off almost the entire staff of Sports Illustrated after its license to produce the magazine was suspended by owner Authentic Brands Group when it missed a $3.75 million quarterly royalty payment. 

Authentic Brands, which awarded the Sports Illustrated license to Minute Media in March, has filed a suit against The Arena Group, charging that it is owed $48.75 million, including the unpaid royalty payment and a termination fee of $45 million. 



The suit alleges that that Bhargava  acted “more like a gangster” than a trusted business partner, and that he and The Arena Group “explicitly threatened to “go nuclear”—and indeed have—by firing SI’s loyal staff, many of whom may have been protected by a collective bargaining agreement, refusing to turn over media and editorial content, websites, and subscriber lists that belong to ABG, refusing to cooperate with ABG and its new SI licensee in transitioning the business, and further damaging the value of the SI brand by posting stolen content on competing websites and creating widespread public and consumer confusion over the future of SI,” the complaint charges. 

The cases are all on file with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 


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